The sunshine vitamin

The sunshine vitamin

Vitamin D is somewhat the forgotten vitamin, yet it is vitally important for a myriad functions in the human body. It is required for the maintenance of normal bones, normal muscle function, normal teeth and for the normal function of the immune system.  

Commonly, it is known as the sunshine vitamin due to the action of sunlight on the skin by ultraviolet radiation (sunlight) by the activation of a sterol.

Diet is usually a minor source of vitamin D. However foods such as oily fish and eggs contain very small amounts. It is almost impossible to obtain sufficient amounts of vitamin D from diet alone, without adequate exposure to sunlight.  

Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency

The Vitamin D council lists dozens of diseases that they say are caused by a deficiency of this vitamin.

Adrian Gombart, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Linus Pauling Institute states that It is estimated that about 10% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D and that 70% have in insufficient levels, (this will be the same or worse in the U.K. as overall we have less sunlight).

The litany of diseases that vitamin D may help prevent is long and includes, heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, hypertension and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. “One connection between those diseases is the immune system.

Vitamin D is important for maintaining a balanced T lymphocyte balance. An imbalance could lead to increased levels of inflammation. Inflammation is important for fighting infection, but chronic inflammation probably contributes to the development of many of the diseases”. 


The many symptoms that are implicated where a vitamin D deficiency exists 

At the present time there are literally dozens of clinical trials being conducted with vitamin D across an incredibly broad range of diseases / problems.

Dr Frank Lipman discusses the many symptoms that are implicated where a vitamin D deficiency exists.  Some of these are:-

  • Fatigue
  • General muscle pain and weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Joint pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Weight gain
  • High blood pressure
  • Restless sleep
  • Poor concentration
  • Headaches
  • Bladder problems
  • Constipation or diarrhea

This list of problems is astounding, however it must be remembered that vitamin D deficiency is not the cause – it is implicated.  Rarely are single deficiencies the cause of a particular disease, it is a combination of total nutrient deficiencies, lifestyle and genetic factors, etc.  However, rickets is known to be caused by a vitamin D deficiency. 

Groups of people that are at risk of vitamin D deficiency

The following groups of people are at risk of vitamin D deficiency: all pregnant and breastfeeding women, especially teenagers and young women:

  • infants and young children under 5 years of age
  • older people aged 65 years and over
  • people who have low or no exposure to the sun, for example those who cover their skin for cultural reasons, who are housebound or confined indoors for long periods
  • people who have darker skin, for example people of African, African-Caribbean and South Asian origin, because their bodies are not able to make as much vitamin D
 


 


The content contained herein is not medical advice, it is for informational purposes only. If you have health concerns please see your doctor or health professional.